October 22, 2014

Elyria
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Cedar Point loses more than $1 million after weekend closure

SANDUSKY — The Saturday and Sunday shutdown of Cedar Point due to a break in a city water line that serves the park cost the well-known attraction between $1 million and $1.75 million, spokesman Dennis Spiegel said.

Spiegel is president of International Theme Park Services Inc., a Cincinnati-based company that provides consulting, development and management services for amusement and theme parks in the U.S. and globally.

The park’s losses for the weekend included admissions as well as purchases of food and merchandise and money paid for parking, Spiegel said.

“On a busy day at the peak of the season, parks the size of Cedar Point and Kings Island can do well over $1 million a day in business,” Spiegel said.

The timing of the park’s sudden closing couldn’t have been worse.

“Schools have just let out and vacations are starting and people are on the road,” Spiegel said.

He surmised that Cedar Fair, the Sandusky-based partnership that operates Cedar Point as well as other amusement and water parks, may have insurance that covers so-called “business interruptions” that close parks due to weather, power outages or in this case, a water line break.

Cedar Point public relations manager Bryan Edwards could not be reached Tuesday.

Cedar Point and its Soak City water park reopened Monday after Sandusky city crews repaired the water line.

While amusement parks are not at fault in such emergencies, it is nonetheless tough to explain to thousands of people — including out-of-state visitors — that they have to be turned away at the gate.

Crowds likely would have been large Saturday due to picture-perfect weather, while Sunday’s rainy conditions didn’t clear up until mid-afternoon.

Calling Cedar Fair a “world-class company,” Spiegel said it did the right thing by issuing free Soak City tickets good through Sept. 1 when a discounted one-day Cedar Point ticket is purchased by Sunday.

The ticket offer, available only online, also requires the Cedar Point ticket to be used by Sunday.

“That’s exactly what they would do and should do from a guest satisfaction standpoint,” Spiegel said of the ticket deal.

Over the course of a summer, Cedar Point and Kings Island can typically do $140 million in business, Spiegel said.

In terms of making money, theme parks “are better than a great casino any time,” Spiegel said.

Contact Steve Fogarty at 329-7146 or sfogarty@chroniclet.com.


  • Phil Blank

    It could have been a lot less.
    Lower the gate price and don’t charge for parking.

  • Jacqui Adkins

    Wish they could stay open past Halloween! That would makeup their loss in sales. Halloweekends is always packed!

  • Frank Siegfried

    They didn’t “loose money”, they just did not “make money”, In order to loose money, you have to have it first. They just did not bring any revinue in. Thats like when they say that Cedar Point “lost $30 million.” They did not loose it, they thought they were gonna make $160 million, but only made $130 million.

  • Wheresmypocketprotector

    So depressing they lost a million, but I am sure they will make it up for the rest of the year on overcharged junk with their name on it.

    • Bill Love

      Then just dont buy it

  • Mike Rush

    How’s come the Chronicle is ignoring the RIOT that occurred last Saturday??? 14 were arrested and charged with aggravated riot and aggravated assault… Sounds like “news” to me…